Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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A Quick Update: JoAnna of the Forest is Back!

 

Lantern hill trail (2)

I’ve been wanting some anonymity on my blog, so I’m returning to my blogging roots as joannaoftheforest. One reason for the change is that I’ve decided to publish my memoir under my maiden name to protect the privacy of several individuals. It might make marketing a little more complicated in other places, but it will give me more peace of mind. For updates on the book, you  can sign up for my monthly newsletter and/or like my Facebook author page via the side bar to the right.

I appreciate the loving support of my blogging family, and as joannaoftheforest, I’ll be able to let you know when my book comes out.


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“Wait Is a Four Letter Word.”

When God says, “Wait,” we can control only two things: how we wait and who we become along the way.  __Elizabeth Laing Thompson

When God Says Wait

Enter for a chance to win a free copy by signing up for my monthly newsletter to the right >>>

It’s always something. If it’s not waiting for your soulmate, it’s waiting for your kids to become independent, or waiting to retire, or waiting for your manuscript to be ready for publication.

I’ve just started reading the book, When God Says Wait, by Elizabeth Thompson. It’s easy to read with well-fictionalized biblical stories, personal stories from the author, and simple exercises at the end of each chapter. I sure could’ve used this book 15 years ago when I was wondering if I’d ever fall in love again, if I’d ever find a partner who’d be a good fit. Still, the messages about “navigating life’s detours and delays” clearly relate to my life now.

Finishing the manuscript for Trust the Timing (see my Work in Progress page) has taken a lot longer than I ever imagined, though I’m getting closer every day. Fortunately, waiting to publish and not rushing have allowed me to work through questions about my own history and about how much of other people’s history to include.

This has been a struggle. Early in the writing process, I was encouraged to dig deeper and to show more scenes, which is fine if you’re writing fiction, and okay when it comes to my own baggage, but not so comfortable when it comes to other people’s baggage, or what I call OPB. Even with name changes and changes in identifying characteristics, there has been an uneasiness about exposing some OPB. Earlier drafts have more OPB, and I’ve deleted and softened quite a bit of that. Yet, there are some pieces of OPB that are important to the story. This is one of the big challenges of writing a memoir.

I’ve been praying hard for guidance every time open the manuscript document. It’s helped to ask this  question:

What does God want me to write?

Things often become clear when I ask that question, or some version of it, and then listen to my gut. God often talks to me through my gut. Sometimes God whispers in my ear. But I have to be quiet and open to get the message.

Waiting gives God time to work things out in us and others. Waiting gives us time to become who we are meant to be, to become ready for our heart’s desire. After all, that’s what my book is about. It seems to be my life-long lesson. And I’m learning, slowly but surely.

For a chance to win a free, signed copy of When God Says Wait, sign up for my monthly newsletter before March 21st by clicking the box on the side bar to the right, or just click here: http://eepurl.com/ch52KT

What are you waiting for?  What helps you wait?


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Answered Prayer

I asked God to take away the desire for a partner or else send me a good one. “And God, I would really appreciate it if you could get my soulmate here before Dad and Jesse die,” I added.

  From Trust the Timing

When I prayed that prayer seven years ago, I knew I would be strong enough to deal with the death of my father and my dog, Jesse, when those times came. Even without a partner, I had proven to myself that I could cope with loss and keep my head above water. No matter how much it hurt, I would deal with it. But I didn’t want to go through it alone gritting my teeth and forcing myself to be tough.

Now, as I process grief for my father, I can’t imagine how I would deal with the waves of sadness, especially after I spend a day going through Dad’s abundant possessions and then come home to sort through his mail and paperwork. I’m going through mom’s stuff, too, because he didn’t want to get rid of anything after she died eight years ago. If I had to do this alone as the only surviving child – and go to work the next day at a challenging job – it would be overwhelming to say the least.

But I don’t have to do it alone. I know that even if I was still single, God would walk with me through this, and that I’d survive (probably with jaw and neck pain from the teeth gritting.) But it helps so much to have a supportive partner. That is an understatement. Not only does my husband support me emotionally, he made it possible for me to quit my job just one month before Dad died. We didn’t know the timing would work out that way. But I bet God knew.

My husband was here for me when Jesse died a couple years ago, and now he’s here for me as I grieve for my father, because God answered that prayer.

God doesn’t always answer my prayers my way. Despite all I’ve learned about trusting the timing, God still seems awfully slow to my limited perspective regarding prayers yet to be answered. But I know things are being worked out in those I love, and ultimately, love will prevail.

I am thankful beyond words.

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2012, just after our wedding

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Here’s Dad on my wedding day.


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Be careful about…

I’m getting so many messages like this one, telling me to slow down the process of publishing my book. Another spoke loud and clear in a horoscope, in a magazine that I never read, except for one night last week when i just happened to pick it up. I’m being guided to look more closely at and revise some of the content in my memoir that I thought was finished, but it’s not, and having to learn patience on a whole new level. Trust the Timing is not just the title of my book. It’s my life lesson. Oh, boy. Another lesson. Thanks, God. I might roll my eyes. I might even stomp my foot. But I’m listening, cause I know who’s running this show.

Sacred Touches

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****Photo by Mandy Disher; text box added by Natalie; collage by Natalie

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Love Songs with a Twist

agape-candle

When I was single, one of the things that helped me tolerate and even embrace love songs that came on the radio  was to sing them to God. I know it sounds corny, but it helped. One day, on a solo road trip, that old song came on the radio: “Some Kinda Wonderful.” I was about to change the station, when I got an idea. I substituted the name of Jesus for “my baby.” Later in the song, I sang about my sweet loving savior.
And I’m telling you, it worked. Singing love songs to or about Jesus helped ease my loneliness.

Just try it. When a love song comes on, but you don’t have a romantic interest, or if you have one who’s not good for you, substitute the higher power or ideal love of your choice. Think of someone who’s always got your back.

 

Can I get a witness?

I realized I could do this with any love song. I even sang love songs to my dog who was always there for me. Cause you know what dog spelled backwards is. Dogs are like mirrors reflecting unconditional love. Natalie, at Sacred Touches, agrees.

jesse-howling

 

As I write in Trust the Timing:

“The dogs provided more comfort and less stress than the men I dated after the divorce “

 

 

 

You can sing love songs to any body you want to. Because love is valuable and wonderful . It doesn’t have to be romantic love, though romantic love is pretty darn special. I’m talking about caring for someone else so much that their happiness is just as important as your own. (Love your neighbor as yourself, not more than yourself.)

Whether it’s brotherly love, sisterly love, parental love, platonic love, romantic love, self love, dog love or AGAPE God love, love is good.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,

JoAnne/JoAnna

 


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Believe In Your Dreams

“When your belief in you and your dream is greater than your belief in other people’s opinions, you will have mastered your life.”    __Johnna Parr

1linerwedsbadgewes

I use this quote by Johanna Parr in my upcoming book, Trust the Timing.

For updates, tips, and inspiration, subscribe to my Monthly Newsletter.

Visit Linda G. Hill, our host for One-Liner Wednesday, at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/08/one-liner-wednesday-to-pooh-a-villain/

Here are the 1LinerWed rules:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


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Hair, Then and Now

SOCS

Well, it’s hard for me to think about anything but my book right now. So that’s where my stream of consciousness is at the moment. There is mention of hair in the book. My stream branches off to a particular scene in Chapter 1 when I first meet him. It was 1971. His hair was long in the back, almost over the collar, but tucked behind his ears, because his father wouldn’t let it cover his ears. But later, he must have not cared as much, his father, I mean, because in the photo Caroline took of us – the photo I’m using for the book  cover – shows it longer. Was it David Cassidy, or Bobby Sherman, who had this kind of hairstyle back in the 70s?

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I resisted the urge to edit this photo to focus on the hair. But doesn’t the fringe on my poncho look like hair?  Maybe not. I’m looking for a poncho like that to do a retake of the photo.

My hair was redder in the 70’s. Now, the red is fading – just when I’m starting to appreciate being different. In my childhood, I was called, “carrot top,” or “red-headed woodpecker.” I didn’t like being different. But now, I know red heads are rare. I’ve heard red heads are becoming extinct, but I don’t believe it. And that thing about the temper, that’s not necessarily true. I have very little temper compared to most people. I tend to cry sooner than rage. But I haven’t cried much over the past few years, except lately when my father died, but I know he is happy with mom who was also a red head.

I’ve cried tears of joy more than tears of sadness of late, for my true love nurtures my heart’s desire. When I saw him again after 39 years, his hair was short and silvery on the sides. My father liked that he had short hair. I’m glad my father got to meet him again and to know that he turned out to be a good man worthy of his rare red-headed daughter.

And speaking of the 70s, I just can’t resist adding this trailer from the movie, Hair. 

FYI, on an unrelated note to hair, the new header photo is one I took of the painting I did for the back cover of the print version of Trust the Timing. Dogs are a big part of our story. When we got married, we had 5 dogs between us. That’s a lot of dog hair.  🙂

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt, in case you didn’t guess, was “hair,”brought to us by, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-417

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!